‘Dismay’ over continuing delays to one way system revamp

Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Leader of Wandsworth Council has said he is “dismayed” that the seven year delay in sorting out Wandsworth’s one-way system looks set to go on even longer, with the scheme seemingly under threat of being ditched completely.

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The plans to pedestrianise the high street have been delayed for years

Following an announcement from TfL that it is facing a cash crisis which is impacting on a number of traffic schemes across London, Cllr Ravi Govindia has written to London's deputy mayor for transport calling for answers as to what is going on with the scheme which would remove all through traffic from Wandsworth High Street.

He said: “A decade ago we set aside more than £27m to help fund this scheme that is urgently needed to improve the environmental infrastructure in Wandsworth town centre – improving the whole area for pedestrians and cyclists.

“That money has been sitting there while we wait, year after year, for TfL to make a decision as to what it is doing. We were initially informed that work would start in 2017, only to be told that things had been pushed back until 2021 at the earliest. Now it seems we are facing a further lengthy delay, with the scheme under threat of being shelved altogether.

“This is especially galling when TfL has continued with transport plans across other parts of London, including nearby Hammersmith.”

TfL says it is continuing with the Hammersmith gyratory scheme as part of its “Vision Zero goal of eliminating death and serious injury on the road network.”

There were 30 collisions on the Hammersmith gyratory in the three-year period to December 2020, however in Wandsworth the figures are significantly more with 48 accidents in the three years to December 2019.

Cllr Govindia said: “TfL has not covered itself in glory. We’ve had our share of the money set aside and waiting to spend on this work for seven years now but have been faced with delay after delay. I’m now seeking some answers as to why the Wandsworth scheme can’t proceed and yet schemes in other boroughs are going ahead.”

He added: “Perhaps the time has now come for TfL to hand over the management and ownership of the road network to London boroughs. This surely is something for Government to consider.”

The long delayed plans would offer huge benefits to pedestrians, cyclists and town centre businesses